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UNCLE CLARK'S TOP 11 CANADIAN WORDS/PHRASES

#11 - GIVE ‘ER

Now 'Give ‘er!' typically means ‘do your best’, or ‘try really hard’ or ‘go fast’ or ‘let’s go’ and can be heard in a sentence like ‘Let’s give ‘er boys!’ before the boys step out onto the ice to play some hockey, or when they head out of the house, or when they do pretty much anything at all.




#10 - SHINNY

Have you ever rounded up a bunch of your friends on a cold winter’s night, headed on out to the local outdoor rink, threw your sticks in the middle, and dropped the puck? Yah that’s called Shiny. Now Shiny is basically a term for whenever a group of people get together to play hockey without hardly any rules or a ref. Quiet often the teams are decided either by putting your sticks in a pile at center ice, and designating one person to randomly throw each stick one at a time towards each net thereby splitting up all the sticks, OR simply by the colour of the jersey you happen to be wearing. Many a fine Candian night has been made all the more magical by a friendly game of Shinny.




#9 - GO FOR A RIP

Very similar to ‘Give ‘er!’, 'Go For a Rip' is said before anything that involves movement. You could say ‘Let’s go for a rip!’ before you hop in your truck. You could say ‘Let’s go for a rip!’ as you step out onto the rink with your significant other and go for a nice leisurely skate, or you could say ‘Let’s go for a rip!’ as you fire up your quad, golf cart, rollerblades, bike, horse, or my personal favourite, skidoo.



#8 - POP

Who in the world can hold their head high when using the word ‘Soda’? That’s what I thought. The correct word for those wonderfully fizzy drinks is ‘Pop’. And no, you cannot combine the two unless you are a character in an Archie comic or some tv show back in the 50’s - then and ONLY then can you order a ‘Soda Pop’, but otherwise, just stick the tried and true and much less awkward to say ‘Pop’.



#7 - SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT

Sounds exactly as it sounds. It sounds right. Meaning whatever someone just said, it sounded right. Except we like to throw in the word ‘about’ in the middle there for no particular reason whatsoever. It just sounds….. About right.



#6 - DART

This is one of my favourites. The DART. Otherwise known as a cigarette. Now I had never heard the word ‘dart;’ used that way until I was working at my very first recording studio and I heard my boss say to some people who were heading out the door for a smoke break - ‘You guys gonna go cook some darts?’...... It took me a while to figure out what exactly he was talkin about, but once I did, I have been quite fond of the word. Smoking a ‘Cigarette’ sounds way too classy for the actual act of sucking back on some tar and nasty chemicals especially when it’s -40 outside and you just have to have the craving, so I think a much more fitting phrase is, as my boss Ted use to say - ‘Goin to cook a dart’.




#5 - OH YAH NO FOR SURE

From an outsiders perspective, this has got to be one of the most confusing phrases in the history of language and literature. But to us Canadians, it couldn’t be more plain and simple. The phrase ‘Oh yah, no, for sure’ means ‘YES’, ‘ABSOLUTELY’, ‘INDEED’, ‘QUITE RIGHT’, ‘YOU ARE CORRECT’. The reason the word ‘no’ is in this phrase at all, is to let the listener know that you would NEVER disagree with what they just said. For example, when your fellow Canadian says ‘The Oilers are totally gonna to win the cup this year eh?’, the logical and proper response would be ‘Oh yah no for sure they will.’, meaning ‘I would NEVER in a million years disagree with that statement.’ And if you REALLY want to emphasize how much you agree with the other person, you can add on an extra ‘yah’ ‘you bet’ and ‘uh-huh’ to the end. ‘The comments section of a Youtube video or Facebook post is where real progress is made amongst those who may disagree on any given issue’. Your reply? ‘Oh yah no for sure, yah you bet. uh-huh.’



#4 - EH?

The word that Canadians are most well known for around the world. And with good reason. I didn’t think we said it that much but then one day I decided to start taking notice of the things I said and the things my friends said and yep….. We do tend to say the word ‘eh’ more often that you might think. And the reason we do is because it can be used in a variety of different ways like when someone says ‘The Edmonton Oilers are not the greatest sports franchise in the entire world’ you could respond with a dumbfounded and confused ‘Eh?’. Or if someone were to say ‘You aren’t good at Hockey’, you could respond with a threatening ‘Eh?’. You could also use it in a short reply with some other words like ‘Oh sure eh?’ which means ‘Yes you are correct’ or ‘I would absolutely love to pick you up from the airport and not stay in the comfort and warmth of my home’. It can also be used when you’re looking for confirmation about something you just said... 'We’re headin’ up to the cabin eh?’, which would prompt the listener to confirm your message with a similar ‘Oh sure eh?’. It can also be used to see if someone agrees with your opinion. You COULD say ‘I believe I disagree with the referees decision on that play. Do you stand with me on said opinion?’ But a much more concise, eloquent and Canadian response would be ‘What a garbage call. Stripes is a hoser, eh?’


Which brings us to our next word….


#3 - HOSER

The word ‘Hoser’ is Canadian term dating all the way back to the early 80’s that is often used to describe someone who is lacking in skill or intelligence in any given area. ‘Look at that Hoser!’ is often said when a friend of yours just did something foolish or wrong. It is also often substituted for words like ‘jerk’, ‘idiot’ or in extreme circumstances - ‘mean person’. You may hear you friend say ‘Don’t be such a hoser’ after you’ve articulately and correctly laid out an intelligent argument for the Edmonton Oilers being a far better Dynasty than their inferior team of choice, but really all they’re saying is ‘Please don’t be such a mean person, you have hurt my feelings considerably’.



#2 - WASHROOM

Now this one should be pretty obvious. Apparently in some places it’s called a ‘Bathroom’, but up here in Canada, we call it a ‘washroom’. Why do we do that? Well, because for one, I’ve never been in a restaurant that had a room with a toilet, a sink AND a bath. Have you? If so you have lived a much more interestin life than I have. The only public ‘bathrooms/washrooms than I’ve been in had a toilet and a …. What was that? A sink? And what do you do with a sink? That’s right. You WASH your hands. You do not BATH your hands and you don’t hop in a tub and have a nice soothing bath no matter how cold it was on the drive over to the restaurant. And once again, the word BATHE is much too fancy a word for most of the public washrooms I’ve been in, especially the one in Zellers that one time when they were goin out of business.




#1 - BEAUTY

This happens to be my personal favourite Canadian word. Quite the opposite of the word ‘hoser’, ‘Beauty’ is used to describe something or someone in a positive way. When you hear an individual shout ‘Look at that guy! What a beauty!’ they are saying ‘That person has done something that is worthy of praise and good cheer, or is an outstanding individual in general.’ It is often used as a substitute for other positive words like ‘neat-o’, ‘cool’, good’, ‘great’, ‘sounds good’, ‘awesome’, okey-dokey’, ‘proceed’.... SO when I say ‘Until next time, you stay beauty Canada’, I am affirming that you, Canada, are worthy of praise and good cheer, and I hope that you continue to stay that way.


Ok well hopefully that all sounds about right eh?. I think I’ll go for a rip on over to the outdoor rink and play some shinny with a couple of my hoser friends, give’er 110% out there and score a couple of beauty goals (oh yah no for sure bud you will), but uh first I gotta pack some up snacks and pop, and oh some darts for after the game, of course some toilet paper because I don’t think there’s a washroom at that outdoor rink.







Until next time, You stay Beauty Canada!


Oh and here's a video version if you want to watch!



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© 2020 by CLARK W.